Meet Abha Sharma, founder and formulator of award-winning TOSé Apothecary, UK
Abha has completed our Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation, Build Your Beauty Brand Program, Advanced Certificate in Natural, High Performance Serum Formulation and our Certificate in Preservative Free Face Mask & Cleanser Formulation.
Her multi-award-winning French Clay and Lemongrass Detoxifying Body Scrub has achieved a Silver award in the Green Parent Natural Beauty Awards 2017 and an Editor’s Choice Award by The Beauty Shortlist.
We catch up with her and see how her business is flourishing and how studying with us helped her achieve her dream.
What difficulties or struggles did you have before you started the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation? What challenges were you facing?
While I could create products for myself, I wasn’t very confident about formulating products for others, which adhered to the rules and regulations.
I was struggling with ingredient knowledge and didn’t know which natural ingredients were better for certain skin conditions. I didn’t know about safe usage levels for ingredients.
I also went on to take the ‘Build Your Beauty Brand’ program, which enabled me to understand the commercial aspects of running a successful business and how to upscale it, rather than playing small.
Why did you decide to take the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation?
I decided to take the course because I wanted to learn the art and science of creating skincare professionally and not just as a hobby or for personal use.
Creating skincare products is my passion and now also my business. Owning a natural skincare range has brought me immense satisfaction, I couldn’t be happier than I am now.
How have the courses you have taken helped you to develop your own range of products? What can you do now that you couldn’t before?
The Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation was immensely helpful in enabling me to gain a deeper level of understanding of how to correctly formulate.
It has given me a lot of knowledge and understanding of different natural ingredients that can be used to make skincare products. More importantly, I learnt how different ingredients, such as active botanical ingredients and essential oils, can be used synergistically to create a skincare range which is potent and effective yet 100% natural.
I have gained insights into the ratio of raw ingredients that should be used in formulations to create a variety of products. I now know how aromatherapy plays a role in creating natural skincare ranges and what the correct dermal limits are.
I can now make more confident choices about my formulations because I now understand the science behind every natural ingredient I use in my range.
On the Build Your Beauty Brand Program, I learnt how to best use the social network for my benefit and not get lost in them. I learnt a great deal about working out the costing of products and how to approach retailers.
I cannot thank Gail and Gareth and the School of Natural Skincare enough for being there on my journey and guiding me along.
What was most useful and enjoyable about the course?
I particularly like how the course was laid out in modules. From simple formulations we moved onto more difficult formulations. This step-by-step approach makes you a master of formulation even when you start as a beginner.
The modules made studying easy, I could keep track of where I was and practice making formulations as I went along.
Why did you decide to start your brand? What was the catalyst/inspiration behind it?
I dreamt of starting my own skincare range when I started to move towards a more holistic lifestyle back in 2014. Skincare formed a very important part of this changing lifestyle for me and I absolutely wanted to be sure about what I was putting into my skin.
As an informed consumer we take so much care about what we are putting into our bodies. We join health clubs and practice yoga to become more healthy and feel good about ourselves. But what often forget is what we put on our skin also plays a major role in our well-being.
I have always had a love of natural skincare which works towards our well-being and makes us feel comfortable and beautiful in our skin. My inspiration is nature and its abundant gifts, in the form of herbs, plants and flowers, which have the power to heal us naturally. My tagline, ‘Power & Purity of Nature’ describes TOSé Apothecary’s inspiration.
What is the essence of your product line? What is unique about it?
The essence of our product line is holistic living. Through TOSé Apothecary I am trying to bring emotional, spiritual and physical well-being together.
On the physical realm the skin is being taken care of with my handcrafted range which is made using 100% natural ingredients. On the emotional and spiritual realm, our products based on the therapeutic effects of aromatherapy and the use of essential oils in every product helps to balance the emotions, feel grounded and connected to ourselves.
What is your favorite or most popular product from your skincare line?
It is a difficult one to answer because as a formulator I love all my creations! But if I still had to choose one, it would be ‘Ylang Ylang & Macadamia Body Oil’. It is a very versatile combination of botanical oils and a perfect concoction of essential oils to relax, calm and ground us.
It is also one of the most popular because it combats all skin issues be it dry or itchy skin, skin which is prone to rashes or is generally sensitive. It gets absorbed very quickly leaving a light fragrance all over. It is a potent anti-aging body oil, which protects and nurtures the skin all day long.
What do you love about running your business or creating your products?
I love the fact that my endeavor is helping people come close to nature and live a more holistic life. I also love it when people praise my creations and give me wonderful feedback about how it is making a difference in their life. I feel accomplished and very satisfied with how I am helping people to experience the ‘Power & Purity of Nature’.
What advice would you give someone who dreams of starting their own skincare line?
It is imperative to have the right knowledge base for formulating skincare and also to be very clear about what you want to address through your skincare range. Do not doubt yourself when faced with difficult situations when you are starting out.
Finally I’d like to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to School of Natural Skincare for giving me a vision and a dream to chase and helping me make it a reality.
It’s because of the School that I stand where I do today as a proud owner of a multiple-award-winning brand.
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